First UAE-China digital expo kicks off on July 15

Visitors attend the ConnecTechAsia held in Singapore on June 18, 2019. ConnecTechAsia 2019, comprising BroadcastAsia, CommunicAsia and NXTAsia, kicked off on Tuesday in Singapore, showcasing the latest smart technologies and trends that are shaping Asia's digital future. (Xinhua/Then Chih Wey). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

DUBAI, Jul 11, 2020, Khaleej Times. The first edition of the China-UAE Economic and Trade Digital Expo will be held jointly by the UAE Ministry of Economy and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) from July 15 to 21, Khaleej Times reported.

The week-long event organised by Hala China, an initiative by Dubai Holding, and the China International Exhibition Centre Group Corporation (CIEC), will reinvigorate trade activities between the two countries in the new digital economy.

The opening ceremony of the Digital Trade Expo will be accessible on the dedicated webpage featuring a series of introductions by dignitaries. The platform will also see leading businesses from the UAE and China interact online to explore new enterprise and economic cooperation opportunities through a range of panel discussions with industry leaders.

“Bilateral trade between the UAE and China, like many, have met with a speedbump in 2020. Yet, the deep bonds, adaptability and ambitions to innovate that our two nations share will see us laying the foundations for mutual growth in the new digital economy we are transitioning towards,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Holding.

“The inauguration of this digital trade expo is a case in point. The event is sure to spark a wave of new possibilities for trade and cultural exchanges between China and the UAE as we enter the reset and recovery phase of the global economic cycle,” he added.

The expo aims to become a hub for collaborative business launches, trends and ideas across various sectors. It expects to bring together over 100,000 attendees and has already received registrations from over 1,000 exhibitors and more than 3,000 buyers.

Panel discussions and seminars

A series of webinars will be held on “digital technology’s integration with the tourism sector under the epidemic”. Industry representatives will discuss opportunities in the travel and tourism sector at the webinars that will be available for all to view on the home page of the website.

Panel discussions at the event include a session titled ‘City Brain’, which will see speakers from Dubai Airport Free Zone and ZTTC discussing the pioneering efforts to develop Hangzhou as a “smart city” and “cross-border e-commerce hub”. Other panels titled “International Investment” and “New Retail: the Future of the Retail Industry” will shine light on future possibilities and trends.

Informative livestream sessions and seminars titled “Innovation Agricultural Technology Park”, and “Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the UAE: Present and Future Trends” are also part of the seven-day programme.

The expo features a series of virtual exhibitions and discussions with keynote speakers spread between nine sessions – Smart Metropolitan and Big Data, Energy-Saving and New Energy Vehicles, Modern Agriculture, Free zone/Finance and Investment, New Building Materials, Textile and Fashion, Education, Healthcare Supply (medical items), and Travel and Tourism, through a series of virtual exhibitions and discussions with keynote speakers.

Education opportunities

The UAE’s educational institutions will be showcased during the ‘Study in UAE’ livestream that forms part of a campaign launched by the Ministry of Education in 2019. Education is a major pillar in the National Agenda 2021 vision and UAE Centennial 2071 strategy.

Over the past two decades, the UAE’s higher education sector has seen tremendous growth, with eight universities listed among the top three per cent in the world, according to the 2020 QS World Rankings. Two UAE universities rank among the top 50 universities in Asia according to the 2020 Times Higher Education World Rankings.

Bilateral ties getting stronger

Prior to the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, bilateral trade between China and the UAE had looked set to grow quickly, according to the Ministry of Economy figures. Official figures showed that bilateral trade exceeded $50 billion in 2019 – a 16 per cent increase from 2018. Non-oil exports from the UAE to China grew by 64 per cent in the same period driven by the UAE’s aggressive economic diversification. The two countries had set their sights on bilateral trade climbing towards the $100 billion mark before the Covid-19 pandemic created an unprecedented global economic shock.

Sheikh Majid bin Abdulla Al Mualla, chairman of the board of directors, Hala China, said: “The Hala China initiative celebrates two years of existence this July. In this time, we have worked tirelessly to foster strong multi-faceted relationships between the two countries through events, cultural exchange and increased opportunities for businesses in the UAE and China. As the world works to recover and transition to a new way of life, our bilateral relations with China offer us new and strategic opportunities for mutual growth and cooperation in a post-pandemic world.

“The UAE is China’s most important trade partner in the Arab world, accounting for 26 per cent of total non-oil-foreign trade between China and Arab countries. With this event we once again express our commitment to fostering a deeper relationship between our two nations,” he added.

“Crisis can be turned into an opportunity. China-UAE Economic and Trade Digital Expo showcases how technology can be applied to create new forms of bilateral cooperation to deepen China-UAE’s community of shared future for mankind amid the COVID-19 pandemic, contribute to the economic recovery and Globalisation 2.0 in the post-pandemic period,” said Li Xuhang, Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai.

“China is at the forefront of e-commerce, with a 30 per cent growth on major online sales platforms under the pandemic; it recently announced the establishment of 46 integrated pilot zones for cross-border e-commerce. This event serves to transcend geographical boundaries for enterprises from China and UAE to conduct business match-making and realise trade opportunities, as well as to further global economic cooperation and development,” he added.

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